Health Services Union

Bazza comes good, delivers hard out sledge on dodgy Labor ratbag

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell hands out a serious sledge?against dodgy Labor ratbag Craig Thomson after his arrest and the subsequent whinging from Thomson’s lawyer:

Craig Thomson’s lawyer has threatened to sue Barry O’Farrell if the NSW Premier does not withdraw comments he made about allegations against the federal MP.

On Friday, Mr O’Farrell dismissed claims by Mr Thomson’s lawyer, Chris McArdle, that his client was stripped naked and searched by court officers after his arrest on the NSW Central Coast in an attempt to intimidate him.

Mr Thomson faces 150 charges of fraud related to the alleged misuse of entitlements when he was national secretary of the Health Services Union.

Mr O’Farrell told reporters that standard procedure was followed by the corrective services officers during Mr Thomson’s arrest.

“I’d only be concerned if there was special treatment meted out to any member of parliament,” he said.? Read more »

Dodgy Labor ratbag Craig Thomson arrested on 150 fraud charges

Dodgy former union boss Craig Thomson was arrested, charged with 150 counts of fraud and released on bail. Earlier in the day Julia Gillard announced the?election?date 8 months out….connected? Possibly but I think that Gillard won’t be able to last until September, she is too closely wedded to Thomson.

Federal MP Craig Thomson declined an offer to surrender himself before he was was arrested at his electorate office and charged with 150 fraud offences, police say.

Members of the NSW fraud squad on Thursday executed an arrest warrant on behalf of the Victorian Fraud and Extortion Squad.

Victorian detectives flew to Sydney this morning where they accompanied NSW police to Mr Thomson’s Central Coast electorate office. He was arrested about 1pm.? Read more »

Brothels cop subpoenas

There are going to be a lot of nervous?politicians?in Australia and the Health Services Union corruption scandal widens. Fair Work Australia has now issued subpoenas to brothels:

BROTHELS and escort agencies are among nine companies served with subpoenas seeking evidence against federal independent MP Craig Thomson.

Fair Work Australia issued the subpoenas to businesses this week, with all but two of them companies involved in the sex industry. The subpoenas demand receipts, notes, phone logs or CCTV footage dating back as far as 2003.

The industrial agency has accused Mr Thomson (below) of using his Health Services Union credit cards while he was its national secretary to pay for brothels, travel for him and his partner, and hotels.

A subpoena was sent to Qantas Holidays seeking details of a hotel booking. Another went to?Yellow Pages?publisher Sensis, asking for requests for phone numbers for brothels and escorts such as Sydney Escorts and Young Blondes.

More charges for dodgy union boss

The Health Services Union scandal continues to truck along with more charges for Michael Williamson, and?two more senior union officials are likely to be charged.

But, why aren’t the members questioning where their funds have gone?

Former Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson has been hit with a raft of extra charges including money laundering and dealing in the proceeds of crime, which attract a potential 15-year jail term.

Mr Williamson, who appeared in Waverley Local Court on Wednesday morning, was also charged with 27 counts of cheat and defraud.

The new charges are believed to relate to allegations of fraud relating to Canme, a company registered to Mr Williamson’s wife Julieanne. Canme charged the union hundreds of thousands of dollars for archiving work that an internal inquiry by barrister Ian Temby QC and accountant Ian Robertson suggested was never done.

Mr Williamson, who was accompanied by his brother Darren and his solicitor Vivian Evans, was in court only briefly.

Outside court Detective Superintendent Colin Dyson, head of the Cyber and Fraud Squad, said that Mr Williamson had been charged with 27 cheat and defraud offences totalling around $600,000 of union funds. Each charge attracts a maximum penalty of 10 years.

Of that amount, $400,000 was allegedly laundered by Mr Williamson who was aware that the funds were proceeds of crime, Superintendent Dyson said.

The detective, who is heading Strike Force Carnarvon, said that two senior union officials may be charged over this matter.

He also said that one other person is facing charges relating to Mr Williamson’s alleged attempts to hinder the police investigation.

Dodgy Labor MP’s home raided

Things are getting very dire for Craig Thomson and Julia Gillard as Thomson’s house is raided by the Police:

Police have raided the Bateau Bay home of embattled Federal MP Craig Thomson.

Just after 7am the NSW police executed a search warrant at the central coast home of Mr Thomson and his wife, Zoe.

Mr Thomson later emerged to tell reporters he had fully co-operated with police and was “very confident that at the end of this investigation I will be vindicated”.

Mr Thomson’s lawyer criticised the police for tipping off the media and described the raid as “something out of a Kafka novel”.

NSW police obtained the warrant on behalf of the Victorian police, who are investigating allegations that Mr Thomson improperly used Health Services Union funds to spend on prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals in excess of $100,000.

Shortly after 10am about eight officers walked out of Mr Thomson’s house with a five large sealed boxes of material.

Watching a dodgy union official and Labor MP profess innocence is all a bit deja vu for Kiwi voters.

Dodgy Union Boss charged

Craig Thomson has been charged:

FAIR Work Australia has laid charges against independent MP Craig Thomson, alleging he broke industrial laws and union rules in splurging hundreds of thousands dollars of union funds on prostitutes, spousal travel, and high living.

FWA spokeswoman Diana Lloyd confirmed to The Australian that civil charges were filed in the Federal Court this morning, and are due to be served on Mr Thomson.

Ms Lloyd said FWA would be seeking “pecuniary penalties, as well as compensation” from Mr Thomson.

The move follows FWA’s three year investigation into allegations Mr Thomson, when he was Health Services Union national secretary between 2002 and 2007, misused his union credit cards for cash advances without receipts, the services of escort agencies, and air tickets for his then wife Krista…

Victorian police are examining whether the alleged misspending of union funds by Mr Thomson constitutes fraud.

NSW police Strike Force Carnarvon is examining allegations raised by Ms Jackson and other union officials claiming Mr Thomson, and Mr Williamson, received secret commissions in the form of credit cards on the account of a graphic designer who had a $680,000 a year contract with the union, John Gilleland.

Dodgy Union Scum Arrested and Charged

Dodgy union boss, Michael Williamson from the Health Services Union has been arrested?and charged with 20 offences including “recruiting five other people to commit criminal acts by hindering a police investigation.”

The report, which was conducted by prominent QC Ian Temby and accountant Dennis Robertson, found that companies controlled by Mr Williamson and his family had received $5 million from the union over the past four years.

The report revealed that Canme, the company of Mr Williamson’s wife, Julie, was paid $385,000 from 2005 to 2009. That amount is likely to be double as the?Herald?understands Canme was being paid up to $15,000 every two months from about 2000. Mr Temby raised questions as to whether the work was actually done.

Within days of the release of the Temby report, Mr Williamson handed in his resignation.

He had been collecting a salary of just under $400,000 per year form the union, and another $150,000 in union-related board positions.

Hide on the Meatworkers Union

Rodney Hide has obviously been following my exposure of the dodgy accounting practices of the Meat Workers Union. He has complained to the Registrar but is meeting some strange resistance to requiring the union to follow the law.

I was recently told about some serious spending by the New Zealand Meat Workers Union that surprised me.

It was so surprising that I thought I should check it out.

No problem. I would just look up their audited accounts that the Registrar of Incorporated Societies would hold. That way I could determine if the story I was told was true.

I was shocked to learn the accounts aren?t there. The meatworkers have four branches and for the past seven years have only been disclosing the capitation fees paid by the four branches to the national body.

For the year ended September 2010 the disclosed income was $712,370.

The total income to the union is several million dollars a year.

That?s a failure over the years to disclose tens of millions of dollars

The law is clear. To be a union, an organisation must be incorporated. And incorporated societies must file annual financial statements that members of the public can inspect. The advantage of incorporation is that it gives a legal personality separate from the society?s members. In return, members of the public can inspect the society?s accounts.

But I can?t for the Meat Workers Union. Neither can you. And that?s been the case for seven years.

The Meatworkers Union is clearly and demonstrably breaking the law. Rodney complained and that is where this story becomes weird:

Parliament has provided the registrar with the power to require records. So I wrote to the registrar pointing out the meatworkers? failure. I suggested he use his power to get the branch records for the last seven years and make them publicly available.

That was back in May. The registrar is Neville Harris, deputy secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development, which is part of a new super ministry. He advised me that he had been aware of the meatworkers? failure to disclose their accounts since November 2011.? My information was not news to him.

He explained he had been in contact with the union and was following up with the objective of having it file a ?revised financial statement? that includes information relating to the activities of its branches.

I have had no explanation why he doesn?t just demand the branch records and why he is speaking of just one financial statement singular when there are several years missing.

It?s a complete mystery to me why the registrar just doesn?t demand the branch records and made them publicly available. After all, that?s the law?s requirement of unions and incorporated societies.

Mr Harris and I now have had quite a correspondence. I can report that I am no further ahead than when I started.

There must be?some real dodgy stuff in there given they are fighting so hard to keep their books secret. I suspect there will?be nice payments to the bosses and good fat donations to Labour that?have never been declared.

With the Health Services Union debacle in Australia it is highly likely that at least one union is rorting their members in a similar manner.

Williamson quits HSU

? Sydney Morning Herald

Michael Williamson has finally quit the Health Services Union after months of revelations about scandal, rorts, and cheating. Gillard is going to face an awful lot of pressure now:

It has been a busy week of cancellations for the man once known as Mr Millions. Michael Williamson has formally resigned as national president of the troubled Health Services Union. He handed in his notice via a text message to the union’s acting president Chris Brown on Monday.

Also cancelled is Mr Williamson’s huge “Thank You” drinks party, which his family was throwing for him.

Invitees from across the country received an email from Mr Williamson’s wife Julie and daughter Alexandra this morning notifying them that, due to “unforseen family reasons”, the celebratory drinks had to be cancelled.

The Williamsons had sent out invitations last week to their vast network of friends, political figures, Labor stalwarts and union mates asking them to the “Thank You” party to be held at The Verandah Bar, in Elizabeth Street, on August 10.

One senior Labor politician who was invited expressed disbelief that the Williamsons were throwing themselves a party.

Apart from wondering who was paying for it, he said: “No one in their right mind would want to be seen associating themselves with Michael Williamson in the present climate.”

Corrupt to the top, and still denying it

? Sydney Morning Herald

The Health Services Union scandal keeps on delivering in Australia.?This Aussie union has rorted and ripped off its members, they are corrupt to the top, and still denying it.

I shudder to think what sort of malfeasance is going on in New Zealand with our lax supervision of union monies:

SUSPICIOUS procurement practices, nepotism and cronyism resulted in the union boss Michael Williamson, his family and friends reaping millions of dollars from the troubled Health Services Union during his 15-year reign.

The final report by Ian Temby, QC, and the accountant Dennis Robertson, which has been obtained by the?Herald, paints a disturbing picture of the HSUeast branch. More than $20 million in questionable payments was paid to suppliers to the union without any form of tendering or contract.

More than $5 million went directly to companies operated by Mr Williamson and his wife, Julieanne, while $1.5 million of union funds was spent buying and renovating a warehouse, which was then used by his son Christopher, also an employee of the union.

The report found the union’s funds had been spent building a rehearsal studio for Chris Williamson’s commercial use. “This was stark favouritism,” it said.

United Edge, a company of which Michael Williamson was a third owner, received $4.7 million in the four years to September 2011. United Edge, which provided IT services without having to tender, operated rent free from the HSUeast headquarters.

Then there was the $384,625 Julieanne Williamson received for allegedly doing the union’s archiving from 2005 to 2009.

Mr Temby is particularly critical of this transaction. “Assuming that the work was actually done, and done by Mrs Williamson alone, and she worked a 37.5-hour week through out the 50-month period ? collecting folders, dismantling and collating them for scanning, week after tedious week for 52 weeks of the year ? then she was being paid at a rate close to $34 per hour plus GST . . . a high hourly rate for what appears to be basic clerical work.” Mr and Mrs Williamson declined to be interviewed by Mr Temby, but she wrote to Mr Temby saying: “I felt I should have been charging $200ph, as the work was downright disgustingly filthy”.